Over the Easter weekend, a group of around 10 men are believed to have undertaken a heist that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Hollywood movie. The Hatton Garden Bank in London fell victim to one of the most organised burglaries of our time with over £10m worth of goods taken. Did the business’ reliance on the police hinder any possible attempts to catch the thieves red handed?
The thieves were able to disable a lift at the second floor and make their way down to the Bank’s underground vault. There they were able to drill through the vault, enter it and rifle through over 70 safety deposit boxes using a range of power tools. The subsequent wreckage inside the vault was the only sign of force as the thieves left no evidence of their entry.
However, just after midnight on the morning of Good Friday, the thieves had actually triggered a security alarm linked directly to the MET police. Although this type of system is common, particularly in respect of high value goods, the police did not respond immediately to the signal. In cases such as this, a swift police response is not a guarantee. It all depends on other crimes taking place, resources and other weighting measures. In short, if the police deem other issues to be of higher importance then the alarm must ‘take its turn’ so to speak.
As a result of this the criminals were able to leave unchallenged with a haul of approximately £10m. Not bad for a nights work.
Public sector resourcing issues are clear for all to see. The police do a fantastic job and falling crimes numbers would be testament to that. However, as with anything in life the police must prioritise the importance of their ever-expanding to do list.
Is your organisation rich in physical assets? Criminals will always try to find a way to steal from you without being caught. We’d recommend that you or an external auditor reviews your current security measures to ensure that you are doing all that you can to protect your property.
At Hatton Garden Bank the thieves will most likely have spent a significant amount of time planning their robbery. They would have been fully aware of the security procedures and systems, as well as understanding the nature of police response. Why choose a night like Good Friday? Their timing was impeccable, as they understood the police would be distracted and of little resistance to them.
Being over-reliant on the police could be a very expensive mistake to make. There is no guarantee the police will be able to respond in time, if at all…